Top seed takes out fellow Malaysian Delia Arnold
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad Correspondent
Title-holder Nicol David gave herself a perfect present on her 31st birthday as she successfully began her defence of the Women’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open trophy with a straightforward win in today’s first round of the Women’s Squash Association World Series Gold event in Hong Kong.
The Malaysian world No1 notched up her 46th successive match win in the championship, beating compatriot Delia Arnold 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 as she bids to clinch a remarkable tenth Hong Kong title in a row since 2005.
Top seed David (pictured above in Hong Kong action with Arnold) will now face Emma Beddoes, the 13th seed from England who defeated recently-crowned South African champion Siyoli Waters 12-10, 11-5, 11-6.
Hong Kong will be represented in the second round after Joey Chan beat Dutch qualifier Milou van der Heijden 11-3, 11-6, 11-4. The Hong Kong number two, seeded 15 in the championship, will now face Egypt’s No7 seed Omneya Abdel Kawy for a place in the quarter-finals.
The only upset of the day came when England’s unseeded Victoria Lust beat Nicolette Fernandes, the 12th seed from Guyana. The pair were poised at three wins apiece in their head-to-head record before the match – but underdog Lust defied three recent losses in a row to the world No19 to defeat Fernandes 11-8, 11-9, 12-10 to land a place in the last 16 round.
Lust, the Canada-based world No32, will now line up against Amanda Sobhy, the No8 seed from the USA who despatched Egyptian qualifier Salma Hany Ibrahim 11-6, 13-11, 11-5.
Women’s Cathay Pacific Sun Hung Kai Financial Hong Kong Open, Hong Kong
1st round (top half of draw):
 Nicol David (MAS) bt [Q] Delia Arnold (MAS) 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 (31m)
 Emma Beddoes (ENG) bt Siyoli Waters (RSA) 12-10, 11-5, 11-6 (32m)
 Joey Chan (HKG) bt [Q] Milou van der Heijden (NED) 11-3, 11-6, 11-4 (25m)
 Omneya Abdel Kawy (EGY) bt Tesni Evans (WAL) 11-2, 11-5, 6-11, 11-6 (40m)
 Camille Serme (FRA) bt [Q] Laura Pomportes (FRA) 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5 (41m)
 Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt [Q] Latasha Khan (USA) 11-4, 11-5, 11-2 (19m)
Victoria Lust (ENG) bt  Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) 11-8, 11-9, 12-10 (43m)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [Q] Salma Hany Ibrahim (EGY) 11-6, 13-11, 11-5 (31m)
Picture courtesy of WSA